My father and mother should have stayed in New York where they met and married and where I was born. Instead, they returned to Ireland when I was four, my brother, Malachy, three, the twins, Oliver and Eugene, barely one, and my sister, Margaret, dead and gone.
When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while.
Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.
People everywhere brag and whimper about the woes of their early years, but nothing can compare with the Irish version: the poverty; the shiftless loquacious alcoholic father; the pious defeated mother moaning by the fire; pompous priests; bullying schoolmasters; the English and the terrible things they did to us for eight hundred long years. Above all – we were wet. Out in the Atlantic Ocean great sheets of rain gathered to drift slowly up the River Shannon and settle forever in Limerick.
The rain dampened the city from the Feast of the Circumcision to New Year’s Eve. It created a cacophony of hacking coughs, bronchial rattles, asthmatic wheezes, consumptive croaks. It turned noses into fountains, lungs into bacterial sponges.
It provoked cures galore; to ease the catarrh you boiled onions in milk blackened with pepper; for the congested passages you made a paste of boiled flour and nettles, wrapped it in a rag, and slapped it, sizzling, on the chest.” —from Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
I think I may have finally figured out the tumblarity thing - neglect your tumblr for a few days and it skyrockets! This is just a note to say things will be even slower here for a while given I broke my external hardrive the other day, losing a lot of music in the process. Mix that with the shocking lack of broadband in England’s North West countryside, and you’ve got me spending days and days OCD-rebuilding my library, whilst also trying to fit in work and academic stuff.
Patrick is still posting, but he’s nothing if not lazy. Likewise, he doesn’t have access to his music, but that’s because he’s on holiday in New York. The bastard.
In other news, new music from The Dodos!